Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tired of the big talkers

Despite pompous statements, Israel will not build homes in disputed area

Eitan Haber

With all due respect (and there is much of it) to Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, Interior Minister Eli Yishai, and other officials, we can assume that when last week they spoke about engaging in construction near Ma'aleh Adumim, they knew well that these were empty words. Who will be building there?

We are talking about a region (not just a small plot of land) that on the various maps is referred to as E1. The vast majority of Israel’s residents have no idea where it is located and why it is so important.Well, this region is located between the top of Mount Scopus in Jerusalem and the town of Ma'aleh Adumim; engaging in construction there would connect Jerusalem and Ma'aleh Adumim, and mostly, serve as a buffer that would divide the Palestinian population, prevent bridges and connections between both sides, and isolate Jerusalem in the mind of the Palestinians.

The Israelis know this. The Palestinians know this. The Americans know this as well.

American firmness

Both the Palestinians and Americans are not even imagining the possibility of allowing Israel to connect Jerusalem and Ma'aleh Adumim in order to create a large Israeli metropolitan area.

The Americans, by the way, are very firm on this front. In the past they thwarted construction attempts in the area by former Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon, Ehud Olmert, Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, Yitzhak Rabin, and Shimon Peres.

We should have thought about it a long time ago, before we built the neighborhoods around Jerusalem. Yet now it’s too late.

So Reuven Rivlin, Eli Yishai, and others know the truth: There will be no construction in the E1 region. We almost feel like saying to them: You know what? Go ahead and build there. Let’s see how tough you are vis-à-vis the Americans.

No comments: